Recently, Mark Clark and Christa McCann obtained a $600,000 settlement on behalf of a client who was injured in two separate automobile accidents caused by two different underinsured motorists.
As a result of the first accident, the client sustained cervical and lumbar spinal injuries with associated radicular symptoms. At of the time of the second accident, the client had been continuously treating with an orthopedic surgeon for these injuries and had received a recommendation for cervical spine surgery. Therefore, following the second accident, the second driver’s insurance carrier and the client’s underinsured motorist insurance carrier disputed the extent and causation of the client’s injuries and took the position that the injuries were entirely pre-existing as a result of the first accident; this position was supported by the Defendants’ two CME experts as well as the MRI findings, which revealed no interval change to the client’s spine following the second accident. Given these findings, the insurance companies for both accidents made nominal settlement offers.
As a result, the case was then referred to Clark Fountain, where Clark and McCann filed suit for both accidents and were able to refute the opinions of the Defendants’ CME experts through the client’s treating physicians and establish that, as a result of the second accident, the client suffered an aggravation of the pre-existing condition based on changes in the frequency, duration and intensity of the symptoms following the second accident and, as a result, was required to undergo several additional epidural steroid injections and ultimately an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Consequently, on the eve of trial, both drivers’ insurance carriers and the client’s underinsured motorist carrier agreed to tender their full policy limits for both accidents.